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Production Design and Management

Much of world you see on screen, stage and TV is down to the people who work behind the scenes. Study production design and management and you’ll learn your way around the industry from props, to clothing, to lighting and sound. And with more than 100 productions at Unitec and around Auckland each year, you’ll get lots of practice.

Explore your options

Study production design and management at Unitec and you’ll be working behind the scenes with your tutors and guest lecturers to bring each production to life. Our courses are designed to be collaborative and interactive – working alongside student and professional actors, directors, dancers, musicians and writers to give you hands on experience and valuable professional connections.

You can choose a specialty in: costume design or stage management.  Your skills will translate across stage, screen, television and even through to events, staging and industrial applications.

Our industry partners keep our programs current and relevant, using specialist knowledge for production workshops as well as custom designed short courses. Many of our projects are integral parts of current professional productions as well as internship opportunities at leading theatre companies.

Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) - Screen Arts, Acting and Technical Production 4 Full-time for 16 weeks or part-time options available Entry into further study toward a career in the media or performing and screen arts. February or July
Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Production Design and Management) 7 Full-time for three years Production manager, Light and sound technician, Light and sound operator, Stylist, Clothing designer, Costume designer, Dresser, Art director, Scenic painter Programme no longer offered
Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Practice 8 Full-time for one year or part-time for two years Artist, Creative director, Curator, Digital artist, Director, Graphic designer, Photographer, Producer, Visual artist February or July

Industry connections

Industry memberships

  • Creative Digital Content New Zealand
  • ETNZ – Entertainment Technology New Zealand
  • Film Auckland
  • NZ Cinematographers Society
  • NZ Film and Video Technicians’ Guild
  • NZ Writers Guild
  • Playmarket
  • Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand
  • Screen Education Alliance New Zealand
  • SPADA – Screen Production and Development Association
  • WIFT NZ – Women in Film and Television

Industry partnerships

Getting practical experience before you graduate is really important. Choose one of Unitec’s production design and management courses and you’ll benefit from our relationship with industry organisations like TVNZ, the New Zealand Film Commission, South Pacific Pictures and Script to Screen.

Internationally, we’re affiliated with the Beijing Film Academy and the Communication University of China.

The department also has connections to the Oryza Foundation for Asian Performing Arts and Creative Coalition.


The performance spaces have a production communications system (Clear Comm system), a 5k projector, access to various screens, and Isadora and Arkaos for media playback and manipulation in performance. If you want to study costume design you’ll be able to create and alter costumes in the sewing studio. You also have access to the wardrobe department with more than 1000 costumes! Study set design and you’ll be able to work on set construction, painting and prop making in the on-campus workshops as well as out on location for short films.

Sound and Lighting industry-standard equipment

  • Control systems (high end systems HOG IPC, ETC ION, Theatrelight Scenemaster)
  • Production Dimmers (Theatrelight, Jands, and Dynalite Dimmers)
  • Different lighting instruments (Selecon Acclaim, Pacific, Comact Series. Nearly 150 in total)
  • 8 x Martin Mac 700 Washes, 4 x Martin Mac 700 Profiles, 6 x Martin Mac 250 Washes, 2 x Martin Mac 250 Entours, and 6 x LED Parcans.

Live audio equipment

  • Consoles (Soundcraft GB2-12 analogue, Yahama 03D digital)
  • Speakers (4 x QSC K10's, 1 x QSC K12 SUB, 2 x Mackie Active Speakers, 4 x Cerwin Vega Passive Speakers)
  • Range of Microphones (SM58, SM57, AKG Shotguns and Vocal)
  • Q-Lab playback software
  • Digidesign Digital - Analogue interfaces



To study production design and management at Unitec you'll need to attend an interview workshop. These workshops include group and individual tasks related to your chosen specialisation. You'll get more detailed information about the format when you apply.